Aim: A cross-sectional study was carried out from November 2011 to April
2012 to determine the prevalence and species of gastrointestinal (GI) helminth
parasites in pet and stray dogs as a potential risk for human health in Bahir
Dar town, north-western Ethiopia.
Materials and Methods: A total of 384
and 46 faecal samples were collected from pet and stray dogs, respectively and
examined by using standard coprologic techniques.
Results: The overall
prevalence of GI helminth infection in pet and stray dogs was 75.26 and 84.78%,
respectively. The detected parasites with their frequencies in pet dogs were
Ancylostoma caninum (78.89%), Toxocara canis (39.79%), Dipylidium caninum
(29.75%), Strongyloides stercoralis (29.06%), Taeniidae (23.87%) and Trichuris
vulpis (7.95%). Stray dogs were found more likely to be polyparasitized and
presented higher prevalence of A. caninum, T. canis, S. stercoralis, Trichuris
vulpis and Taeniidae (P < 0.05) than domiciled ones. Diphyllobothrium latum was
detected only in 10.25% of stray dogs. Toxocara canis and A. caninum (P < 0.05)
were detected more frequently in dogs with less than 6 months of age (P < 0.05)
than old age dogs. The sex or breed groups didn't significantly affect the
prevalence of parasites. A significant variation was recorded (P < 0.05) between
different feeding systems where higher prevalence was observed in uncontrolled
feeding group (82.18%) compared to controlled feeding (32.08%).
Different gastrointestinal parasites in pet and stray dogs were identified
in the study area that can potentially infect humans and cause serious
public-health problems. Thus, concerted efforts should therefore be made to
educate dog owners to embrace modern dog disease control programs and measures
have to be taken on stray dogs.
Keywords: Bahir Dar, dog, Ethiopia,
gastrointestinal, helminth, prevalence